Meals on Wheels will do safety checks as hot weather becomes dangerous for seniors

Meals on Wheels delivery (FOX 9)

It's going to feel like a sauna outside this weekend and for people without air conditioning that could be nearly unbearable. That's why a local nonprofit will do more than just delivering meals to seniors in need.

"Just gives you that personal contact with people who need your assistance," said Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Tom Russett.

Twice a month, Russett volunteers for Meals on Wheels. In addition to helping vulnerable adults stay in their homes, he'll also be keeping an extra eye on them during the upcoming heatwave.

"Just have that wellness check make sure they are feeling all right doing all right in this excessive heat," he explained.

With another stretch of heat and humidity expected over the next few days, the nonprofit is reminding its drivers to check in with their clients to see if they need more than just food.

Metro Meals on Wheels says many of the people who receive their services are elderly and may not have air conditioning or other ways to keep cool.

"They can't just jump in the car and go to the mall and do a few laps to cool off," said Nita Hughes with Bloomington-Eden Prairie Meals on Wheels. "They are usually in their homes and immobile in a lot of ways so it's important that they have someone making sure they are ok."

Just last month, a volunteer with the organization came to the rescue of one of her 94-year-old regulars who was disoriented by the sweltering heat inside his home. He told the woman his air conditioning was broken, he didn't have a fan and he couldn't see well enough to dial the phone to call his daughter.

"There is more than one occasion that we have found someone who has fallen or come into a compromising situation that we are the person who calls for help so that's key," adds Hughes.

Russett says for many seniors, Meals on Wheels can be a lifeline to the outside world. but it's a good idea for everyone to check on their vulnerable neighbors too.

"A lot of times, we are the only person they see that day," he said. "So to recognize they need some help and get it for them is a valuable service we are providing."

If a client doesn't have air conditioning, Meals on Wheels also gives out 50 to 100 fans a year, free of charge.